Where Sheryl Babbleth Over…

It’s a lovely day here in Brownsville, PA – now that the temperature’s dropped below A FRICKING THOUSAND DEGREES!

But I digress.

Today, let’s talk about how much I’m loving my Nook and why I think Barnes & Noble will survive, despite the predictions of the Self-Pub Prophets who think all brick-and-mortar stores are on the way out.

First, why I like the Nook.

In a word – Free Books. Every Friday I’m offered a free book from B&N outside of any other offers. Sometimes it’s a romance, sometimes a western, sometimes something I’m not interested in at all. But that’s fine because I like having the choice.

Recently they’ve been offering some Classic books for free as well. Sure, most of these are already in the public domain, but it’s nice to have them on my Nook in a format that’s guaranteed to work with the Nook. Downloading from elsewhere can have problems with the formatting as far as seeing it on the screen goes and I’m too old to go fussing around. In addition the B&N editions have some lovely forewords and notes to go along with the books.

Not to mention that Samhain, among other epubs, offer free books as well. This week it’s Collison Course by K.A. Mitchell. Sure it’s not to everyone’s taste, but a free book? Sure!

I can also get the New York Times Book Review delivered for $3.00/month. Seriously. Less than a dollar a week for something I’d never be able to find in paper form? WIN!

It’s a great little ebook reader and I think that if you’re considering buying one, I’d look at the Nook.

Now, why not the Kindle? Why the B&N love?

Well… let me move onto the bookstore love.

My local B&N (well, near the Wookie’s workplace, since Borders closed down ALL THE BOOKSTORES IN OUR AREA) has a Nook Booth right at the entrance, like all the other B&N’s. As you walk in the door a real person is standing there at the booth, Nook in hand, ready to answer any questions about the Nook and/or the store itself. I’ve seen almost one Nook sold per DAY as I sit in the Starbuck’s area, typing away on the first draft of my new book.

Sheer genius on their part. If you have a question you’re talking to a real person who can show you right there. No buying an ebook reader sight unseen and hoping you can translate the manual yourself or get the kid next door to do it. A real person who can help you decide if the Nook is right for you and you can touch it and play with it and test the heft of it in your hot little hands.

This is what sold me on the Nook vs the Kindle. Who can I go to with the Kindle? A 1-800 number? Meh.

Now it seems that B&N are planning to put in what they’re called “e-book boutiques”. More booths and stalls set up to let you sample the Nook’s abilities as an ebook reader AND read ebooks there. At least, that’s what I’m thinking.

This is what will save B&N. First, the Nook booth lets you see and touch the Nook. Second, in-store offers make it even more fun to go to the bookstore. Free coffee? Free cookie? Offer me 10% discount if I show my Nook at the cash?

Making the bookstore experience more fun for the ebook reader AND the paperbook reader will make B&N successful. I can sit in a soft plushy chair and watch kids run around with their favorite childrens book (which is not likely to go into virtual form anytime soon, self-pub prophets – kids tend to destroy expensive toys) and sip a coffee, surrounded by fellow book lovers.

This is how I see the future for B&N and for bookstores.

Ain’t it great?


(and, of course, the mandatory plug for my two books – B&N has “Blaze of Glory” AND “Wild Cards and Iron Horses” available right now – and you can even read free samples to see if you’d like them! Get the Nook app for PC here! )


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